Big Lots Reports Healthy Sales

Big Lots Inc. (NYSE:BIG - News), a largest broad-line closeout retailer, recently posted healthy fourth-quarter comparable store sales for U.S. operations, exceeding a companys guidance range. Big Lots witnessed an increase of 3.4% in comparable store sales in a fourth quarter of 2011, above a companys guidance range of 1% to 2% increase in comparable store sales. During a period under review, Big Lots registered comparable-store sales growth across furniture, food and seasonal goods. Seasonal and furniture registered low double-digit growth, and consumables increased in a mid-single digits. Moreover, a companys mix shift (shift to more electronics merchandise while trimming toys) was cheered by consumers. Total retail sales from U.S. operations increased 7.7% year over year to $1,622.9 million during a reported period compared with $1,507.1 million in a prior-year period. For a fifty-two week period, retail sales from U.S. operations increased 3.9% to $5,093.4 million compared with $4,900.6 million in a same period last year. Comparable store sales inched up 0.1% in fiscal 2011. Guidance Goes Up Buoyed by healthy holiday sales and lower-than-expected losses at its Canadian operations, a company raised its fourth-quarter 2011 earnings guidance range to $1.71 - $1.74 per share, representing an increase of 17% to 19% from a prior-year quarter. Earlier a company forecasted earnings in a range of $1.59 - $1.66. For Fiscal 2011, Big Lots expects earnings in a range of $2.94 - $2.97 per share, representing an increase of 4% to 5% from a same period last year. The Current Zacks Estimate for fourth-quarter of 2011 is $1.74 per share, while it is $2.97 for fiscal 2011. The company stated that a sales results for a Canadian and Wholesale operations will be announced on Thursday, March 1, 2012 along with fourth quarter 2011 results. Currently, we have a long-term Neutral rating on a stock. Moreover, Big Lots faces stiff competition from Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT - News) and has a Zacks #3 Rank, w! hich tra nslates into a short-term Hold rating. Read a Full Research Report on BIG Read a Full Research Report on TGT Zacks Investment Research More From Zacks.com Read a analyst report on BIG,TGTPowered By iWebRSS.co.cc


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